Tag Archives: RRW

Youth Action Teams celebrate Red Ribbon Week with #MyStoryIs

Red Ribbon Week has officially concluded, but the message the Bartow and Floyd Youth Action Teams spread will stick in social media history forever!

Red Ribbon Week, which was nationally recognized October 23-31st, has touched the lives of millions of people around the world. In response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction cause by drugs in America.

Bartow & Floyd Youth Action Teams partnered with GUIDE Inc., Floyd Against Drugs, and the Coalition to Prevent the Misuse of Alcohol to spread the #MyStoryIs campaign. The point of the campaign was that the best stories are drug free!

Some of the activities that the Bartow Youth Action Team did included:

  • Getting their local high schools to share the #MyStoryIs drug prevention messages on the school’s Twitter and Facebook pages: whstwitter
  • Partnered with the Coalition to Prevent the Misuse of Alcohol and handed out over 5,000 red ribbons to all 4 local high schools and 1 middle school.
  • Held a #MyStoryIs photo booth day during all lunch periods at Woodland High School. Encouraged students to post what their story is using #MyStoryIs and #PaintWHSRedsocialmediaposts
  • Sponsored a #MyStoryIs chalk art contest encouraging students to decorate a parking spot in a way that told about an awesome time in their life that occurred without the use of drugs. Winner won a $100 gift card. The WHS Cross Country team were the winning team, but there were plenty of awesome entries!


    Some of the activities that the Floyd Youth Action Team did, include:

  • Partnered with Floyd Against Drugs to create a new Red Ribbon Week motto: “ITune out Drugs” which was incorporated into 4 billboards around Rome-Floyd County.billboard
  • Partnered with Floyd Against Drugs to design and provide red shoelaces, color changing pencils, and stickers to all of our students in the Rome/Floyd county schools.  The shoelaces and pencils had the theme “ITune Out Drugs” imprinted on them. Read more about these efforts!
  • Held a #MyStoryIs photo booth day during all lunch periods at Armuchee High School. Encouraged students to post what their story is using #MyStoryIs and #PaintAHSRed
  • Sponsored a #MyStoryIs chalk art contest encouraging students to decorate a parking spot in a way that told about an awesome time in their life that occurred without the use of drugs. Winner won a $100 gift card. Winner Ruth Ann Freeman, wrote, “No drugs were need to have fun when I went to the beach with my best friend Felix ( the lizard) here is us playing in the ocean.”chalkartwinner


Both teams did an excellent job partnering with local community organizations to get their messages across to as many people within the community as possible. Red Ribbon Week is only one of many ways that both teams hope to raise awareness and educate around the dangers of drugs and how fulfilling life can be without them. Keep an eye out for future campaigns around Bartow and Floyd!


What is YOUR Natural High?

Natural High….what does that even mean?

With Red Ribbon Week 2015 coming up later this month, we here at Just Us Teens wanted to encourage you to continue living for your passions and pursuing your dreams! Your Natural High is something that you LOVE doing, that you are great at, that makes you feel inspired! It could be playing sports, writing, shopping, laughing! When you focus on your Natural High instead of drugs or alcohol, you are able to dream more, learn more, do more and become your best self!

Bartow & Floyd Youth Action Team Members! Comment below with your Natural High and be entered in to win prizes and potentially get your Natural High on a t-shirt at Georgia Teen Institute 2016! You can be the winner if you submit the most Natural Highs!

Red Ribbon Week Ties Up Nicely!

This week marked the annual Red Ribbon Week which is held every year all over the country from October 23-31st! Our Floyd and Bartow Youth Action Teams were busy planning and coordinating various events for each of their schools, in order to make it the BEST Red Ribbon Week (say that 5x fast!) EVER!

In Floyd, our Youth Action Team created age appropriate PSA messages for every County & City elementary, middle, and high school. A different message was announced to the entire school every morning during RRW. Some of the examples included:

  • A drug free you rules! Be awesome and stay drug free!
  • Statistics show that more teens are killed by alcohol than by all illegal drugs combined!
  • Chewing or spitting tobacco is just as dangerous as smoking and also has a high risk of addiction.

In Bartow, our Youth Action Team scoured the state Red Ribbon Week guidebook for ideas on how to celebrate at each of their high schools.

  • Cass High: Decorated their school campus in red ribbons, read PSA’s over the announcements each morning, and coordinated a “Red Out” day for their peers.
  • Adairsville High: Read PSA’s over the announcements each morning and encouraged their peers to “text to pledge” to stay alcohol free at 25399
  • Cartersville High: Read PSA’s over the announcements each morning, encouraged their peers to “text to pledge” to stay alcohol free at 25399, and coordinated a “Red Out” day for their peers.
  • Woodland High: Read PSA’s over the announcements each morning, encouraged their peers to “text to pledge” to stay alcohol free at 25399, provided Advisement Coordinators with videos and discussion questions from naturalhigh.org, decorated their school campus with red ribbons, coordinated a “Red Out” day for their peers, and planned and coordinated their peers into a giant red ribbon on their football field to show that WHS student’s stand together in living drug free (look for them in the Daily Tribune on Sunday)!

student red ribbon (2)

As you can see, our Youth Action Teams take living drug free pretty seriously! I can’t thank them enough for being such leaders within their communities!

If you are interested in joining the Youth Action Team or learning more, check us out!

A Healthy Me is Drug Free & Thoughts From A Teenager….

Red Ribbon Week has officially started! For the week of October 23 through October 31st, millions of Americans will be celebrating this years theme of “A Healthy Me is Drug Free!” To kick us off right, we want to share one of our Floyd Youth Action Team member’s view on underage drinking.

The annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health of 2012 revealed that over 51 percent of the American population ages 12 and older were drinkers. The same survey showed that about 9.3 million people aged 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol at least once over the course of a month. I’ have never had alcohol, but I am a product of a parent who began drinking at age 13, so I understand the effects, consequences, and emotions that result from underage drinking—the choices my parent made still resonate throughout my life. I watched alcohol consumption by my peers take off once we entered high school. Young people begin to grow up and distance themselves from their parents. Teens get their licenses, and they start spending less time at home and more time with friends. I listen to students talk about drinking on the weekends, afternoons, and nights—most of the time they are laughing and talking about how they acted stupid.

My group and I conducted a survey at school to determine the impact alcohol is having on local teenager’s lives, and found that 60 percent of the students asked drink because they think it is fun. Of the students asked, the youngest age that someone began drinking was 11 years old. My group also found that the majority of teens drinking are getting the alcohol from friends. Underage drinking appears to be connected to teen socialization. Alcohol consumption is connected with fun.

 A fellow student of mine has been arrested three times and attends alcoholics’ anonymous meetings. When we asked him how he felt about alcoholics anonymous, he replied that it was fun and just like in the movies. There appeared to be no embarrassment or stigma attached to attending AA meetings as a teen drinker, but there was also no apparent admission that he had a drinking problem which is fundamental to a 12 step programs success.   

Teens are willing to do whatever they have too to get alcohol including illegally purchasing or stealing alcohol from their parents. It is also apparent that some stores in the community are willing to sell alcohol to underage drinkers. These teens are adding themselves to a growing number of teens around the United States who make up a pool of statistics.  We are aware, According to the Surgeon General, that about 5,000 people under the age of 21 die each year as a result of drinking. Teens under the influence of alcohol are more likely to engage in risky behavior or be subject to harmful consequences, such as drinking and driving, unprotected sex, suicide and sexual assault. Underage drinking is more likely to kill young people than all illegal drugs combined. Long term consequences can also occur in developing brains exposed to alcohol. Lab studies show that memory impairments have been found in adult rats exposed to alcohol during adolescence. Imaging techniques revealed structural differences in the brains of 17 year old adolescents who displayed alcohol-induced intellectual and behavioral impairment. Researchers speculate that teens are more vulnerable to addiction because the pleasure center of the brain matures before the part of the brain responsible for impulse control and executive decision making.  In other words, a teenager’s capacity for pleasure reaches adult proportions well before their capacity to make sound decisions. Statistics and scientific observations, however, do not tell the whole story.

As a teenager it is important to have power over your own mind. Teenagers are constantly struggling for acceptance from their friends, and being under the influence of alcohol may provide a false sense of acceptance. Instead of socialization skills and the normal maturing process taking place as teenagers grow into adulthood, teenagers who engage in underage drinking may develop a dependence on alcohol to help them relax and have fun, which often leads to an alcohol dependency.

 I believe that drinking alcohol changes your personality and leads to an attitude that causes a person to not care about life outside of drinking. Drinking affects your school life, home life and family life. Personally, I feel that those who choose to engage in underage drinking are throwing their life away. By risking arrest and not caring about school work and grades, the only thing teens are learning is to set their life on a path that does not lead to success. If alcohol is what teens are using to have fun, then we as a community need to change the teenager’s perception of fun. If obtaining alcohol is so easy in our community, then laws and consequences for providing alcohol to minors need to be addressed. Most importantly adults need to become aware that underage drinking is a problem with serious implications in the lives of teens who are willing to illegally purchase alcohol or steal alcohol from their parents. The ease at which teenagers who desire to acquire alcohol obtain alcohol is something they readily realize. They do not, however, realize how easily they can be arrested for underage drinking.

Underage drinkers are not statistics or lost causes. They are young people with life and potential. They make up the future of our community, and it is scary to think of what the future will look like if we continue to sit around and let an overwhelming number of teens drink. No adult would sit still and watch as a three year old played in the middle of highway 27, even if it was not their child there would be action. However, it appears that there is a lack of urgency in the community and the lives of the adults concerning teens playing with an addictive and potentially destructive, yet readily obtainable drug called alcohol. I am here today representing the 50 percent of teenagers who have chosen not to drink, but speaking out on the behalf of the 50 percent of the teenagers who, for whatever reason, have chosen to drink saying “Hello, my name is (you fill in the blank with a face that you know in your life) I am an alcoholic” and we, as a community have a problem.

ANNA PIC Anna Young is a Senior at Armuchee High School and a member of the Floyd Youth Action Team.